May 06, 2009

Acapulco Jazz Retires

Jazz receives his ceremonial cooler from owner/rider Bonner Carpenter. Jim Stoner Photo.

The talented 18-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Acapulco Jazz was retired in a moving ceremony this weekend at the Weatherford CIC**/* in Weatherford, Texas.

After completing the CIC2* on Ashwood Lad, owner and rider, 21-year-old Bonner Carpenter of Dallas was called back to the ring, along with Heather Morris, who had served as Jazz’s groom the prior weekend at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** , and coach Mike Huber. ( Morris herself was near at hand having just accepted the blue and red ribbons in the CIC** for her stellar performances on Allison Freeman’s Slate River and Lynne Partridge’s First Mark. )

With Carpenter astride the wiry chestnut, details of his career were recounted to the crowd with the strains of Randy Newman’s “A Nice Ride” from the soundtrack to Seabiscuit wafting on the wind.

A handsome Jazz struts his stuff during the first horse inspection at the 2009 Rolex Kentucky CCI4*. Josh Walker Photo.
Though foaled in Mexico, Jazz has a Texas ancestry, his grandsire Streakin Six stood at the famous Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, with another well-known Quarter horse stallion Dash for Cash.Jazz himself came back to Texas with a Mexican rider, who had aspirations of competing for his country. The young gentleman was not successful in sealing a partnership with the 16.2-hand chestnut, however, and sought the assistance of Houston area trainer Jennifer Bodtmann.

Unstable financial circumstances for the gentleman owner ultimately forced the sale of the horse and Bodtmann arranged for her working student Megan Larsen to try him, and his first Young Rider partnership was struck. With Larsen, Jazz, who was known around the barn as “The Old Goat” for his incredible jumping ability, partnered in four CCI* events, including a partnership in 2001 that brought them a team bronze medal at the NAYRC. They completed three Intermediate horse trials together before Larsen’s college career commenced and Bonner Carpenter took the reins.

Bonner and Jazz began their competitive partnership at the spring Quail Run Horse Trials (TX) in 2002 at the Training level and over the course of the next seven years competed in 75 competitions including 15 international level events, contributing to a team gold medal at the CCI** NAYRC for Area V in 2005. In 2006, Carpenter and Jazz began competing at the Advanced level, and in the following spring of 2007 Jazz kicked off a streak of successes by winning the Young Rider Advanced division at Pine Top (GA) with Carpenter. This was followed by a win in the Open Intermediate at River Glen (TN) with Mike Huber and yet another win in the CIC** with Heather Morris at Greenwood (TX). In 2007, Carpenter and Jazz and placed 15th at the Fair Hill CCI*** (MD), with Carpenter taking the award for the highest placing Young Rider.
Jazz performed a beautiful cross-country round with Bonner in the tack at the 2009 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day. Josh Walker Photo.
In his time partnering with Carpenter, this remarkable gelding won numerous USEA Area V and North Texas Eventing Association Awards and carried his rider to the top of the USEA Young Rider leaderboards. Over their seven years competing, Jazz was presented with more than 2000 cross-country obstacles, only seven of which he declined to surmount on the first presentation. Twice he negotiated the pinnacle of challenges over the cross-country course at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, representing the Quarter Horse breed well and making every eventer in Area V proud both times with no jumping faults.

Carpenter and Jazz were presented with a cooler emblazoned with well wishes and some details of his illustrious career as well as a plaque for Bonner to recall the remarkable successes of a treasured partnership. The fiddle fresh gelding quickly recognized the basket of carrots and apples that were for him and requested a sample. His gift basket additionally included a bottle of “Mexican Champagne” (aka Tequila) for Jazz to enjoy at his leisure. Bonner, with the help of her Rolex groom Heather, removed Jazz’s saddle for one last time, dressed him in his elegant cooler as the crowed thanked him for the gift of the talent that he has given so willingly. A true Texas story of a wonderful horse, Jazz will be king of remuda at the Briscoe Ranch in Uvalde, Texas, the “home place” of Carpenter’s maternal grandfather a former Texas Governor, Dolph Briscoe.
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